Another take on green project management

Over a year ago, I attended a webinar by the authors of Green Project Management, who argued convincingly that although projects fall on a spectrum from those that are green by definition to those that may have a few green elements, any project can be run in a more sustainable manner.

Continue reading “Another take on green project management”

Is Walmart really green?

Now and then, you hear something about Walmart going green. But what does this really mean? Isn’t Walmart an evil mega-store known for selling low-quality products and treating its employees badly? So how can we trust their talk about sustainability? I learned more about this last weekend, at a Green Project Management seminar titled “The Tipping Point: Walmart’s Journey to Sustainability.” Sustainability strategist Mikhail Davis discussed Walmart’s commitment to sustainability, from his vantage point of having been one of the consultants who helped them in this effort. Continue reading “Is Walmart really green?”

Communication challenges in a dispersed workplace

We’ve all experienced the challenges of collaboration and communication in the workplace; those challenges are multiplying in our increasingly globalized working environments. And there’s a lot more to communicating than meets the eye; an important factor in workplace interactions is the social side of teams — which, after all, are made up of people. Given that having strong social ties is considered the greatest predictor of both happiness and the productivity and success of teams, this is not an area to overlook. Social connections help establish trust among team members and are key to working well together. Continue reading “Communication challenges in a dispersed workplace”

Project management best practices in a fast-paced, global environment

Does any project management not take place in a fast-paced, global environment? Undoubtedly, but some of us have yet to encounter that. So the session on this subject at the recent San Francisco Bay Area PMI Open Space provided a welcome opportunity to share experiences with others in the same situation and to get some useful tips. Continue reading “Project management best practices in a fast-paced, global environment”

Decision making simplified

We’re all faced with many decisions every day, and we tend to think we’re rational and in control, at least when it comes to simple decisions. Yet even seemingly simple decisions can turn out to be complex when you take all factors into account. So how do we know we’re making decisions in the best way possible? How do we evaluate our decisions? And can we learn to make better decisions? This topic has come up at more than one event I’ve attended recently: At the January dinner meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Project Management Institute, Dr. Errol Wirasinghe, author of The Art of Making Decisions, delved into these questions in an engaging and compelling talk. And decision making was a prevalent theme in the recent “Program Manager Summit” held by my group at Adobe. Continue reading “Decision making simplified”

Open space is not just a physical location

When most people hear the term “open space,” they think of a green area in or near a city, a place set aside for our enjoyment of nature and to give us a breather from the city’s density. But in the world of project management it’s come to have an entirely new meaning: an open space, in this sense, is a self-organized meeting or event without an initial agenda, and with just on rule, the Law of Mobility and Responsibility (a.k.a. the Law of Two Feet): “If you are not learning or contributing where you are, find a place where you can learn or contribute.” An open space also follows these four principles: Continue reading “Open space is not just a physical location”

Happiness training

When was the last time your workplace sponsored a seminar on happiness? Never, you say? Yet on a recent weekday morning, nearly 100 co-workers and I crowded into a small auditorium for just that. (The actual name of the course was “The Science of Positive Leadership.”) Though the course was optional, three hours long, and had been advertised only to managers, the room was packed. We were there to see what Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, could tell us about how to be happier and how that would affect our productivity and that of our teams. Continue reading “Happiness training”